January 12, 2010 2 Comments
I’m evolving from a pantster to a plotter – or maybe not – but I am learning to plot which is cool. I stated (as a goal) that I wanted to write books, when I was 12 years old. Now I see the difference that could have been – if only I had stated my goal as – wanting to publish stories. There’s a big difference between writing books and publishing stories. Two main differences are plot and conflict, which are essential for story and barely there in books I’ve written.
I now see I was a pantster writer, which means I had a general idea of my characters and a specific event and not much else to wind my way through a story. It’s an exciting and creative way to attack a story. The story is free to evolve, the characters can take control and the author may have a lot of work in the future to tame this beast.
The challenge of a plotter writer is, the plotter may be unable to unleash the beast and actually write the story. Hmm…
In October, I won a raffle basket that was donated by Amy Rench. Within that basket was Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass. This week, I sketched out a workable plot for my WIP then began working through the exercises in this workbook. Oh! The joy of story! The depth of possibilities! Using the same characters I created, the settings, the wacky situations, the struggles, I can see the greater darkness they will now endure. I’ll twist, trip, and tie up those too nice characters.
On Saturday, our workshop was The Art of Being a God – Building Worlds from Microbes to Suns. Minnette and Delilah are awesome writers and presenters, and I adore their books. Neither of these writers have issues with forcing their characters into trials beyond repair – and yet – redemption does arrive through conflict and drama and the mastery of a powerful plot.
Maybe I will live up to the potential of what I have learned.
At the age of 12, I had no idea I was stating a goal that was really a journey.